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Thursday, December 1


“We shall be like him.”
1Jn 3:2 NIV

“WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM”

Let every parent of a Down syndrome or wheelchair-bound child write these words on the bedroom wall. Let the disabled, infected, bedridden, and anemic put themselves to sleep with the promise: “We shall be like Him.” Let amputees and the atrophied take this promise to heart: “We shall be like Him.” We shall graduate from this version of life into His likeness. You’ll have a spiritual body. In your current state your unregenerated flesh battles your regenerated spirit. Your eyes look where they shouldn’t. Your taste buds desire the wrong drinks. Your heart knows you shouldn’t be anxious, but your mind still worries. Can’t you relate to Paul’s confession? “I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge” (Ro 7:22-23 TM). In heaven your “parts” will no longer rebel. Your new body will be a spiritual body, with every part cooperating toward one end. Joni Eareckson Tada, who’s been confined to a wheelchair since age seventeen, says: “I can’t wait to be clothed in righteousness, without a trace of sin. True, it’ll be wonderful to stand, stretch, and reach to the sky, but it’ll be more wonderful to offer praise that’s pure. I won’t be crippled by distractions, disabled by insincerity. I won’t be handicapped by halfheartedness. My heart will join with others and bubble over with effervescent adoration. We’ll finally be able to fellowship fully with the Father and the Son. For me, this will be the best part of heaven.” The word for you today is: “We shall be like Him.”

Friday, December 2

“Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Mt 7:1 NKJV

DON’T BE A CRITIC, BE A CHEERLEADER (1)

Parent, you can break your child’s spirit by emphasizing what they do wrong rather than what they do right. Church member, you can discourage your pastor through criticism or encourage him until he enters the fullness of all that God’s called him to be. Why do we choose to be critics rather than cheerleaders? Because it’s easier to point out the faults of others than deal with our own! By dwelling on their shortcomings, we feel better about ourselves. But Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck in your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite!” (vv. 4-5 NKJV). Think of the person, group, or organization you’re most critical of, and to whom you criticize them. Are you trying to increase your stature in the eyes of others? Are you carrying within you unhealed wounds and unresolved issues, so you vent your anger at anybody who gets in your way? Jesus said: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt 12:34-37 NKJV). What’s the answer? Pray: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord” (Ps 19:14).